1. Nice post about biblatex, thank you. It does seem to lack one caveat: when using these features you need to use biber as backend (and dump bibtex to the dustbin of history where it might belong). Replacing bibtex needs a bit of tweaking: biber bib styles are written in latex and not lisp, and you might need to tweak your favorite latex editor.

    • Thanks for your comment. I totally agree. Sometimes, I focus too much on the details and don’t see the essential.

      In TeXShop for example, open Preferences and choose the “Engine” tab. Replace “BibTeX Engine” default (bibtex) by biber.

      Cheers, Tom.

  2. Preetham Aghalaya Manjunatha

    Dear Tom,

    Thank you very much for your crisp example. I tried to run the

    But unfortunately I am getting no bibliography output,

    The error message is
    LaTeX Warning: Citation ‘knuth1986texbook’ on page 1 undefined on input line 29
    LaTeX Warning: Empty bibliography on input line 30.

    LaTeX Warning: Citation ‘knuth1977fast’ on page 1 undefined on input line 34.
    LaTeX Warning: Empty bibliography on input line 35.

    I am using Mac OS, Lion
    Tex Live Utility: Version 1.12 (1.12) biber, biblatex installed
    Tex Shop: Version 2.47 (2.47)

    Also, I have used Tex Maker 3.5.2. Changed backend=biber to backend=bibtex, no luck.

    Would you please help me on this.

    Thank you,

    • Hi!

      Thanks for your question. I removed the code, since it was the example from the post. You need to run: latex, biber/bibtex, latex, (latex). I suspect, you only ran latex, which is why you get these warnings. I’m not familiar with TeXMaker, but there should be a way to run biber/bibtex from within the editor.


      • Bunya

        Dear Tom,
        I have the same problem as Preetham Aghalaya Manjunatha. I could not find a way to solve it yet.
        here is my code:

        \usepackage[sorting=none, backend=bibtex]{biblatex}
        Citation section\cite{Agrawal2006}
        Citation section \cite{Almeida2009}

        I use TexStudio(MiKTeX 2.9 64-bit). In the end I would actually use \input or \include in order to add each chapter to the main code. I tried many different ways, but it did not work for me. It would be great if you could help. Thank you

      • Hi Bunya,

        Thanks for getting in touch.

        The short answer is to use backend=biber instead. If you have to use bibtex, producing bibliographies for each section requires extra effort explained here.

        HTH, Tom

  3. Preetham Aghalaya Manjunatha

    Thanks tom it worked. I have made a quick text for build. It includes pdflatex, make index, bib(la)tex, pdflatex again. Here it is:

    % Quick Build Config (BibLaTeX)
    %”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|”/usr/texbin/biber” %.bcf|”/usr/texbin/makeindex” -s %.ist %.idx|”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|open %.pdf

    % Quick Build Config (BibTeX)
    %”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|”/usr/texbin/bibtex” %.aux|”/usr/texbin/makeindex” -s %.ist %.idx|”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|”/usr/texbin/pdflatex” -synctex=1 -interaction=nonstopmode %.tex|open %.pdf

  4. Mori


    I have a problem with the reference numbering. I am using the following comments in my Ref-Doc. bib page, and after compiling the project, the reference numbers from the list of figures and tables not from the text itself, since I have citation in the figure and tables’ captions.
    Is there any way to eliminate this issue and start the numbering from the first chapter of the texts.

      KeyOrder{descending,nulls first}
      Pattern{author+editor: "doron"}

    Thank you,

  5. Mathieu

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for this code, it really help. But for my thesis I need to use the APA norms for bibliography. Nevertheless, when using
    \usepackage{apacite} or \usepackage{natbib}

    It does not work and say that the package is not compatible. Could you help me on that please ? Thank you.


    • Hi Mathieu,

      Thanks for your question. You can load both packages, but you will have to load apacite first with the natbibapa option:


      See the discussion here for more details on the topic.

      Best, Tom

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